How to Have Better Self-Esteem Today

bohemian_girl_happy_in_sun.jpg

I'll admit it: I'm terribly vain. I love makeup, long hair, and I choose to present myself a certain way in the world. I think of it as dress up. Though while I'm still vain, it took me several years of having a solid spiritual practice to improve my self-esteem. In my early twenties, I had an eating disorder. I hated my body. I had acne. I tore myself apart. 

As I continued on my spiritual path, praying, meditating, and studying A Course in Miracles, I learned how to love myself. Here are the keys to having better self-esteem:

1.Question your thoughts.

The first step is to become present to our mental chatter. Oftentimes, we become so used to being critical of ourselves and thinking negatively that these thoughts play like a tape on repeat. It takes focus and a commitment to shifting our mindset to stop, recognize that we are thinking self-destructive thoughts, and then question them. We can ask: Is this true? Who told me this? Is this something I learned from society? How this serving my highest good. So, when we start pinching at our middle section, or noticing the wrinkles around our eyes, we can choose to detach from the thoughts and question them. The world tells me that I'm only beautiful if I am young and thin. Is that true? Is this thought serving me, or am I using it to beat myself up and feel terrible? 

2.Be willing to let the thought go.

When a painful thought arises, there is a part of us that wants to cling to it. Our minds say: You're not good enough. You're never going to meet someone. Look at you. You'll never get that job. You need to lose weight. We cling to these thoughts because we are attached to the idea that we're unworthy and it takes a bit of effort to think something new. When we feel like we can never give a thought up (but you don't understand, I do need to lose weight!), we can tell the Universe that we are willing to let it go. We can think: There is a part of me that doesn't like myself and that is critical and mean. I'm willing to see things differently. I'm willing to release this thought and change my mindset. With just the smallest amount of openness, we begin to shift, and we allow for a new way to perceive ourselves.

 

3.Trust the Universe.

We are here on purpose, and every aspect of ourselves is exactly perfect, from our physical appearance, to our nationality, and upbringing. The Universe, God, doesn't make mistakes. The Universe doesn't look at a rose and think, That should've been a daffodil! I really messed up! If we're unhappy with aspect of ourself (our appearance, for example), it's because we're resisting our divine perfection. Our height, hair color, weight, breast size, and thigh jiggle is perfect. If we needed to look a different way in order to fulfill our purpose, then we would have incarnated in a different form. Our thoughts will tell us that the Universe messed up. Really, we should be 5'10, blonde, and naturally thin, but that's not what life had in mind. The Universe loves variety. There are roses, bushes, daffodils, and weeds. 

4.Reprogram your mind.

The thought system of the world is insane. At a young age, we are taught that we have to fit into a particular ideal of beauty, and we have to attain a certain level of success in order to feel worthy. Images and messages about what our life is supposed to look like flood us in the media, as well as from programming that we're inundated with at home and school. These thoughts have taken root in our subconscious minds, and we can change them by filling ourselves with positive messages instead. We can choose to read books, watch videos, and repeat affirmations that are empowering. Every message we intake (from television, friends, and reading material) is a choice. Once we decide to fill ourselves with only positive programming, we will see a shift in our self-image.